Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Meeting With Trustees...blurgh!


Deb
 Share

Recommended Posts

Well, had a trustees meeting last night to discuss pay review. I manage a charitable pre-school run by a management committee of trustees. A condition of my employment was that I undertook EYP. I’m currently doing the BA in Early Years.

 

Staff have not had a pay rise for 3 years and I have not had my level 5 acknowledged.

 

Fees are currently £4.00 per hour and I would like to increase them to £4.50 per hour from September in an attempt to try to make some provision for more pay. Any surplus over the past few years has gone into the bank to cover depreciation of our building which the trustees have valued over pay. Increasing fees to £4.50 per hour would put us at the top end of fees for settings in our area, mainly on a par with private providers. We are a rural setting so our numbers are necessarily restricted.

 

The trustees (well 2 out of the 6) say that our governing document says that we must provide low cost childcare and that if we do not we will lose our charitable status. I am sceptical about this and cannot find anything in our constitution that states this. Does anyone have any experience of the do’s and don’ts of charitable committees. (I’ve got over 20 years’ experience myself).

 

I don’t have an argument with providing as low as possible educate but I feel that by covering our costs by our fees without attempting to make a profit that we are providing as low cost childcare as we can.

 

One of the trustees also claims that having two level 3 staff is a luxury and that if we were to start from scratch we wouldn’t have such highly qualified staff. Does anybody know off hand where it states that the government want all staff to be level 3 qualified staff and by when? I did explain that having these qualified staff enabled us to achieve the highest level in our recent quality audit (which she had just congratulated us on), that they also provided continuity in covering staff sickness during the last fortnight, that they are flexible and can cover breakfast and afterschool club etc.

 

This person also wanted to know what we did at our weekly staff meetings. We do get a generous 2.5 hours every week but we invariably work longer to provide the service we want to provide. In response to this person’s statement that the curriculum is already there, I replied that we personalize the curriculum for each child. I also explained how we have been supporting a child with additional needs (social interaction) which has required a lot of work and staff are drained. Her response was that if we are effectively providing one to one support for this child, and staff are tired, and other children are not getting the provision they are entitled to that we should tell the parent that we cannot meet their needs (unless they were prepared to pay extra).

 

This person also feels that by having me as a level 5 and on my way to training to be an EYP that our setting are ahead of the game and that’s why our costs are higher. I’ve found out today 76% of settings in our county have an EYP or are on the pathway or have the Foundation Degree.

 

I think this trustee has been involved with the committee for too long(reading the constitution this morning she shouldn’t technically be a trustee for more than 5 years).

Didn’t sleep much last night going over all this, woke up this morning wondering if I could become a childminder to utilize my qualifications yet work from home so that I can at least buy another dog as we lost ours at Christmas and we have a huge hole in our lives. There has to be more to life than this.

 

Clearly the government funding for settings is inadequate. Anyone got a £250,000 I could borrow - I could do with having supper with Dave and putting a good word in for Early Years!

 

Thanks for letting me offload and for reading this far!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

deb...sending hugs[[[]]] can i ask a question which constitution are you running under if you are a company?? most companies run under articles which tend to be less defined than the constitution that we used to have from the psla.In terms of low cost child care...if your articles say that you do this then you are a bit stuck (unless you change them!) even if you are a not for profit organisation you are still able to make money (otherwise oxfam would have a problem!!) there's a bit in the new review about staff qualifications about the highest possible workforce...i think it's in the nutbrown review ...all my staff are level 3 or above! oh and you definitely need a new dog...couldn't be without mine :1b :wub: :wub:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blimey!

We are a charity playgroup and follow the PLA constitution, I dont need to read it to know it wont state that we have to provide low cost childcare. I also know, without having to check that the charity commission dont stipulate what you can charge.

Ask them to show where it says this.

I dont know how many staff you've got, but you probably know that half have to be qualified. From the revised EYFS...

"In group settings, the manager must hold at least a full and relevant level 3 qualification and at least half of all other staff must hold at least a full and relevant level 2 qualification. The manager should have at least two years’ experience of working in an early years setting, or have at least two years’ other suitable experience. The provider must ensure there is a named deputy who, in their judgement, is capable and qualified to take charge in the manager’s absence".

Thats the minimum though and we're lucky to have 4 level 3 and a level 5. We havent been able to acknowledge the level 5 in extra pay unfortunatley.

I would say that by having two level 3 you are providing for the need for cover should you be absent.

Our staff have one hour a fortnight to meet formally, but meet every Thursday lunch time to discuss plans,SEN,etc. They are paid 4 hours a week extra, I know its a lot but a previous chair thought we had a money fairy!

Point out your responsibility to all children and you cannot ask a parent to pay more because the child has an additional need. Show them the policies and remind them that they are the registered person and have to adhere to them whether they like it or not.

Some committee's are awful. I, on the other hand, am wonderful,if a little unorganised :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Ask them to show where it says this.

 

Will do -

 

I dont know how many staff you've got, but you probably know that half have to be qualified.

 

We have 1 level 5, 2 level 3's, 2 level 2's. We don't all work together though, we work varied shifts.

 

 

Our staff have one hour a fortnight to meet formally, but meet every Thursday lunch time to discuss plans,SEN,etc. They are paid 4 hours a week extra, I know its a lot but a previous chair thought we had a money fairy!

 

Damn you mean there isn't a money fairy! Four hours a week is good but we're not far off that with 2.5 hours staff meeting and 1.25 hours keyperson time in total.

 

Point out your responsibility to all children and you cannot ask a parent to pay more because the child has an additional need. Show them the policies and remind them that they are the registered person and have to adhere to them whether they like it or not.

Some committee's are awful. I, on the other hand, am wonderful,if a little unorganised :D

 

Rea that goes without saying - the wonderful bit I mean!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

deb...sending hugs[[[]]] can i ask a question which constitution are you running under if you are a company?? most companies run under articles which tend to be less defined than the constitution that we used to have from the psla.In terms of low cost child care...if your articles say that you do this then you are a bit stuck (unless you change them!) even if you are a not for profit organisation you are still able to make money (otherwise oxfam would have a problem!!) there's a bit in the new review about staff qualifications about the highest possible workforce...i think it's in the nutbrown review ...all my staff are level 3 or above! oh and you definitely need a new dog...couldn't be without mine :1b :wub: :wub:

 

Hi Finleysmaid

 

We are a charity and run under a constitution - just looked today it is dated 2003, and looks roughly based on the 1999 PLA constitution so have downloaded a copy of the 2011 version to put that on the list of jobs to do - wish me luck!

 

The constitution does not however say that we have to provide low cost childcare. I just wondered if there was something else that I hadn't come across that she was referring to.

 

All of our staff will soon be level 3 too. Will look at the nutbrown review as you suggest.

 

And I so need a dog - a big black squidy Labrador to snuggle up to -_-.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She even attempted thinly veiled blackmail like suggesting that the trustees would need to see if the setting is sustainable - I said that if we were to suggest to parents that to prevent closure they pay an extra 50p per week I think they'd pay it!

 

Does anyone charge for extra services for funded children like snack and cooking?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She even attempted thinly veiled blackmail like suggesting that the trustees would need to see if the setting is sustainable - I said that if we were to suggest to parents that to prevent closure they pay an extra 50p per week I think they'd pay it!

 

Does anyone charge for extra services for funded children like snack and cooking?

 

Some LEAs state that you cannot charge extra at all, not for snacks or anything during the funded session, so you would need to check your agreement with them before charging.. we were not able to charge.. so did a donation of items for the snack, and always had enough provided by the parents, another way is for each child to bring in own snack , seen that done successfully too, but need to give guidelines on what is allowed and what you will not give them - over a year we were surprised how much the food bill dropped.. could also ask for items when cooking.. we put up a list and parents brought it in.. some could afford more, others nothing but all tried at some time..

 

as to setting fees etc, it is the constitution that the charity commission want to see and is the basis for the running of the group.. but also is there a fees policy that states this, could be in there..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We ask for a piece for fruit for snack and its worked really well.

We also put a notice up when needed asking for a box of tissues, nappy sacks, washing up liquid and the other consumables. Its usually the same peple who donate but thats helped loads too.

After easter we are going to introduce a 'toy fund'. I've seen it in many of the City's own nurseries so I know its allowed. We intend to ask for a donation of £1.00 a week towards new resources and equipment.

The budget last week changed how 'gift aid' works too. This is what our accountant sent us

Charitable giving

Small donations of up to £20 (previously £10) will no longer require a signed gift aid declaration in order to qualify for relief. The maximum total amount that can be claimed is £5,000 from April next year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some LEAs state that you cannot charge extra at all, not for snacks or anything during the funded session, so you would need to check your agreement with them before charging.. we were not able to charge.. so did a donation of items for the snack, and always had enough provided by the parents, another way is for each child to bring in own snack , seen that done successfully too, but need to give guidelines on what is allowed and what you will not give them - over a year we were surprised how much the food bill dropped.. could also ask for items when cooking.. we put up a list and parents brought it in.. some could afford more, others nothing but all tried at some time..

 

as to setting fees etc, it is the constitution that the charity commission want to see and is the basis for the running of the group.. but also is there a fees policy that states this, could be in there..

 

Hi Inge

 

I'll double check our code of practice regarding charging for extras....I know that the free entitlement has to be free at the point of delivery.

 

Good idea to check the fees policy too.

Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

I own my nursery so I don't have to consult trustees (lucky me) but we are in a very deprived area and I put the fees up to £4.50 per hour for over threes and £5.00 (yes FIVE) for two to three year olds as it wasn't viable to keep to £4.00 per hour across the board. I have been surprised how many parents have paid the extra without any question - most are paying for extra hours and it's the difference between £12 and £13..50 per week. There are quite a few on just funded hours so they don't pay and some funded 2 year olds from time to time. All my staff are Level 3 or above - I don't think that's excessive at all :) I have EYPS and two are doing foundation degrees. Even with my fee rates there won't be pay rises this year but they got one last year.

Hope you are getting somewhere with this. I used to be Manager in my setting and it was Committee run but managed to take it on as a private business - it's SO much better, despite the extra stress and responsibility

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Anju

 

Thanks for your reply. I know it's not palletable (spl?) putting fees up but I do feel it is the only thing we can do to recognise that quality costs. I don't think your fees are excessive.

 

I agree also that having all staff at level 3 is not excessive either. Since my original post I have followed up suggested sources of information. Dame Clare Tickell's Review of the EYFS recommended that all staff are level 3, and Professor Cathy Nutbrown's interim report into early years qualifications highlights that she is also considering recommending level 3 as the minimum qualification. Personally I think that this will be the case.

 

I'm formulating a written essay, I mean response, to some of the views expressed by this trustee. Whether it will do any good remains to be seen.

 

I guess an alternative is either to take it on as a private business or perhaps a limited company but I know nothing of either option, just that some have done it. But one step at a time!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)